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Shakespeare's Julius Caesar Manga Edition_clone

Published by THE MANTHAN SCHOOL, 2021-02-24 03:35:17

Description: Shakespeare's Julius Caesar Manga Edition


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Adam Sexton • Hyeondo Park

Copyright © 2008 by Adam Sexton, Hyeondo Park. All rights reserved. Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc., Hoboken, New Jersey No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, scanning or oth- erwise, except as permitted under Sections 107 or 108 of the 1976 United States Copyright Act, without either the prior written permission of the Publisher, or authorization through payment of the appropriate per-copy fee to the Copyright Clearance Center, 222 Rosewood Drive, Danvers, MA 01923, (978) 750-8400, fax (978) 646-8600, or on the web at Requests to the Publisher for permission should be addressed to the Legal Department, Wiley Publishing, Inc., 10475 Crosspoint Blvd., Indianapolis, IN 46256, (317) 572-3447, fax (317) 572-4355, or online at Wiley, the Wiley Publishing logo, and related trademarks and trade dress are trademarks or registered trademarks of John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and/or its affiliates. All other trade- marks are the property of their respective owners. Wiley Publishing, Inc. is not associated with any product or vendor mentioned in this book. The publisher and the author make no representations or warranties with respect to the accu- racy or completeness of the contents of this work and specifically disclaim all warranties, including without limitation warranties of fitness for a particular purpose. No warranty may be created or extended by sales or promotional materials. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for every situation. This work is sold with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional services. If professional assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. Neither the publisher nor the author shall be liable for damages arising here from. The fact that an organization or Website is referred to in this work as a citation and/or a potential source of further information does not mean that the author or the publisher endorses the information the organization or Website may provide or recommendations it may make. Further, readers should be aware that Internet Websites listed in this work may have changed or disappeared between when this work was written and when it is read. For general information on our other products and services or to obtain technical support please contact our Customer Care Department within the U.S. at (800) 762-2974, outside the U.S. at (317) 572-3993 or fax (317) 572-4002. Wiley also publishes its books in a variety of electronic formats. Some content that appears in print may not be available in electronic books. For more information about Wiley prod- ucts, please visit our web site at Library of Congress Control Number: 2007940642 ISBN: 978-0-470-09760-1 Printed in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Book design by Elizabeth Brooks Book production by Wiley Publishing, Inc. Composition Services

Suiting the Action to the Word: 1 Shakespeare and Manga 5 Act I 33 63 Act II 101 127 Act III Act IV Act V

Adam Sexton is the author of Master Class in Fiction Writing and the editor of the anthologies Love Stories, Rap on Rap, and Desperately Seeking Madonna. He has written on art and entertainment for The New York Times and The Village Voice, and he teaches fiction writing and literature at New York University and critical read- ing and writing at Parsons School of Design. A graduate of Columbia University and the University of Pennsylvania, he lives in Brooklyn with his wife and son. Hyeondo Park, at the age of 10, moved from Seoul, South Korea to Dallas, Texas with his mother and two brothers to reunite with his father. He had a special passion for comics growing up, and he sometimes waited until midnight at the local bookstore to get the latest issue. He loved the laughter, the excitement, the danger, and the suspense of comics, which he could read over and over again and could buy on his weekly allowance. It is one of many reasons why he attended and grad- uated from the School of Visual Arts in 2006 as a cartoonist. Now he hopes that his comics will provide the same excitement and entertainment value for others as they did for him when he was young.

Suiting the Action to the Word: Shakespeare and Manga by Adam Sexton Suit the action to the word, the word to the action... —Hamlet (Act III, Scene 2) Four hundred years after the writing of William Shakespeare’s plays, it is clear that they are timeless. This is due in part to their infinite adaptability. The plays have been translated into dozens of languages and performed all over the world. Famously cre- ative stage productions have included a version of Julius Caesar set in fascist Europe during the 1930s and a so-called “voodoo Macbeth.” Nor have gender and age proved barriers to casting Shakespeare’s characters. The role of Hamlet is occasionally played by a woman—an appropriate reversal, considering that boys acted all the female roles in Shakespeare’s day—while the teenaged Romeo and Juliet have been portrayed by couples in their forties and fifties. It is common knowledge that the plays of Shakespeare transfer especially well to the movie screen. Such has been the case since Thomas Edison made one of the first sound films ever using a scene from As You Like It. Recent cinema standouts include William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, directed by Baz Luhrmann, and Michael Almereyda’s Hamlet. Both take place in the present day or near future: Leonardo DiCaprio’s Romeo wears a Hawaiian shirt—and Julia Stiles’ Ophelia wears a wire, so Claudius and Polonius can eavesdrop on her conversation with Hamlet. Otherwise, these adaptations remain surprisingly faithful to Shakespeare’s texts. And both hit the audience as hard as conventional stage productions in which the actors are 1

outfitted with doublets and hose, crossed swords, and what Hamlet calls “a bare bodkin”—his unsheathed dagger (replaced in Almereyda’s movie by a gun). Shakespeare’s plays have been set to music as well, in operas and ballets by composers such as Verdi, Tchaikovsky, and Prokofiev. The early comedy Two Gentlemen of Verona was adapted for Broadway by the composer of Hair, and it won the Tony award for Best Musical the same year that Grease was nominated. In the words of theater critic Jan Kott, Shakespeare is indeed “our contemporary.” In short, though some consider the plays of William Shakespeare to be sacrosanct, they have been cut, expanded (it was common in the Victorian era to add songs and even happy endings to the tragedies), and adapted to multiple media, emerg- ing none the worse for wear. Although we cannot be sure of this, it seems likely that the writer, who was a popular artist and a savvy businessman as well as an incomparable poet, would approve. The graphic novels known as manga (Japanese for “whimsi- cal pictures”) are a natural medium for Shakespeare’s work. Like his tragedies, comedies, histories, and romances, which are thrillingly dynamic if properly staged, manga are of course visual. In fact, a manga is potentially more visual than a stage production of one of the plays of Shakespeare. Unbound by the physical realities of the theater, the graphic novel can depict any situation, no matter how fantastical or violent, that its creators are able to pencil, ink, and shade. Take Romeo and Juliet’s famous Queen Mab speech. Even the most creative stage director cannot faithfully present the minus- cule fairy described by Mercutio. Manga artists can. The same is true of the drowning of Ophelia in Hamlet. It is precisely because these vignettes are unstageable that Shakespeare has his charac- ters describe Queen Mab and the death of Ophelia in such great detail—they must help us imagine them. In its unlimited ability to 2

dramatize, the graphic novel more closely resembles a contempo- rary film with a colossal special-effects budget than anything pro- duced onstage in the Elizabethan era or since. At the same time, manga are potentially no less verbal than Shakespeare’s spectacularly wordy plays, with this crucial dif- ference: in a production of one of the plays onstage or onscreen, we can hear the words but can’t see them. Though Shakespeare is never easy, reading helps. And that is precisely what manga adaptations of the plays allow. Perusing a Shakespeare manga, the reader can linger over speeches, rereading them in part or altogether. Especially in the long and intricate soliloquies typical of Shakespearean tragedy, this allows for an appreciation of the playwright’s craft that is difficult if not impossible as those solil- oquies move past us during a performance. Overall, turning the pages of a manga version of one of Shakespeare’s plays is something like reading the text of that play while attending a performance, but at one’s own pace. Manga is not merely a new medium for the plays of William Shakespeare, but one that is distinctly different from anything to have come before. A note on authenticity: In order to fit our adaptations into books of less than 200 pages, the writers and editors of The Manga Editions have cut words, lines, speeches, even entire scenes from Shakespeare’s plays, a practice almost universal among stage and film directors. We have never paraphrased the playwright’s language, however, nor have we summarized action. Everything you read in The Manga Editions was written by William Shakespeare himself. Finally, footnotes don’t inter- rupt the characters’ speeches here, any more than they would in a production of one of Shakespeare’s plays onstage or on film. Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar challenges a manga artist to bring everything he or she has learned about the craft of “whimsical 3

pictures” to the graphic novel page. After all, this tragedy about the assassination of Julius Caesar by the Roman senators Brutus, Cassius, and their co-conspirators has as many different kinds of scenes as any Shakespeare play. Julius Caesar includes sun kissed crowds and a soliloquy by starlight; political strate- gizing behind closed doors and pure action on the battlefield. It features the relations of two married couples at home and the lynching of an innocent poet on the streets of Rome; a sooth- sayer and Caesar’s ghost; and four suicides. The manga artist must draw, ink, shade, and letter all of these disparate situations with equal proficiency. The play offers an additional challenge, as well. If the lan- guage of Romeo and Juliet is primarily poetic and Hamlet’s is mainly philosophical, that of Julius Caesar is rhetorical, for the most part. Most of the words in this play are spoken in order to persuade. The action begins as two tribunes of the people attempt to disperse a crowd—with words. It is irrational, they argue, for the mob to celebrate Caesar when they so recently paid tribute to his enemy, Pompey. Soon afterward, Cassius tries to talk Brutus into joining the would-be assassins with an appeal to his patriotism. Brutus’s wife later pleads with him to share his burdens with her, even as Caesar’s wife begs her husband not to go to the Senate that day. Most famously, Brutus attempts to sway the plebeians to support his cause before his opponent Marc Antony does the same. After Antony and his allies Octavian and Lepidus debate whom they should kill in retribu- tion for Caesar’s death, Cassius and Brutus try to convince one another of their contrasting battle plans. Finally, Brutus appeals to a series of comrades to help him commit suicide. The beauty of a manga version of Julius Caesar is that it can situate the play’s rhetoric in its scenic context, laying out the words and the action of Shakespeare’s tragedy side-by-side. Neither is complete without the other—and a manga makes room for both. 4

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